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Casino: the court must record the profound upheaval of the group this Monday

2024-02-05T06:00:59.088Z

Highlights: The Paris commercial court must examine and ratify this Monday, February 5, the group's draft accelerated safeguard plan. The more than century-old distributor of Saint-Etienne origins will have undergone major changes. The current shareholders, starting with the CEO for a few weeks Jean-Charles Naouri, will be massively diluted. More than 12,800 people are affected by a transfer of stores, out of the 50,000 that the Casino group still had in France at the end of 2022 under its various brands.


A hearing at the commercial court should make it possible to validate the change of shareholder and the accelerated safeguard plan of the mass distribution group.


New stage in the rescue of Casino: the Paris commercial court must examine and ratify this Monday, February 5, the group's draft accelerated safeguard plan, noting the change of shareholder and a profound upheaval of a distributor who has long been in financial difficulties .

New shareholders, new managers, less debt... And fewer stores.

Following the restructuring of the Casino group's debt, the more than century-old distributor of Saint-Etienne origins will have undergone major changes.

It must come under the control, by March/April, of billionaires Daniel Kretinsky and Marc Ladreit de Lacharrière, backed by the Attestor investment fund.

Group adrift

It is in fact this

“consortium”

of buyers which allows the rescue of a group adrift, by providing a large part (925 million euros) of the new money (1.2 billion euros) needed serve to meet deadlines and restart activity.

In exchange, the group's massive debt must be crushed very significantly.

And the buyers will take control of the distributor.

The current shareholders, starting with the CEO for a few weeks Jean-Charles Naouri, will be massively diluted.

In mid-January, these shareholders largely endorsed this plan, as did the creditors, the largest of whom had already given their agreement in principle in the summer of 2023. They thus recorded significant losses for each of them. them, but they had little choice: it was

“the only solution on the table to make”

the group viable, as one of the judicial administrators at his bedside, Aurélia Perdereau, recalled.

Unfavorable opinion from employees

For employees too, the potion is bitter.

On January 31, the central social and economic committee of Casino France unanimously issued an

“unfavorable opinion”

on the group's accelerated safeguard plan, to protest against

the “opacity which surrounded”

its development, explained Nathalie Become, spokesperson for the Casino inter-union (FO, CGT, CFDT, UNSA, CFE-CGC).

However, the CSEC did not intend to initiate an appeal: the objective

"is not for the company to be placed in compulsory liquidation"

, according to the same source.

On the other hand, the inter-union organization regretted in a press release that this plan does not include

"any social component"

, while it provides for

"a sale of half of the activity and an adjustment of the size of the workforce at the head office and the supply chain

.

Up to 6,000 positions deleted

Casino must in fact offload a good number of stores along the way.

In France, 288 large stores, super and hypermarkets, will pass into the hands of Intermarché, Auchan, and Carrefour in 2024. More than 12,800 people are affected by a transfer of stores, out of the 50,000 that the Casino group still had in France at the end of 2022 under its various brands (including Monoprix and Franprix).

Employee representatives fear up to 6,000 job cuts in support, administrative or logistics functions, as a result of this sharp reduction in the number of stores.

They plan to travel to Paris for the hearing at the commercial court on Monday.

According to a union source, it must be held at the beginning of the afternoon.

Unless there is a surprise, the plan should be stopped by the court.

Casino indicated Friday evening that all conditions, including authorization from the European Commission under regulations on foreign subsidies, were now met.

The accelerated backup period for Casino and its subsidiaries will end on February 25.

The various capital increases must then take place in March and a general meeting of new shareholders must immediately decide on the new composition of the board of directors.

Source: lefigaro

All business articles on 2024-02-05

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